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HSBC hires Goldman's Westerman as co-head global banking

[LONDON] HSBC has hired Matthew Westerman from Goldman Sachs to become co-head of banking in its investment banking arm, part of several changes in the unit.

Westerman has been at Goldman Sachs for 16 years and was most recently chairman of its investment banking division in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

He will join HSBC in "the coming months" and work alongside Robin Phillips, the other co-head of global banking, HSBC said in a memo to staff on Wednesday seen by IFR. Goldman also sent a memo to staff announcing Westerman's departure.

HSBC said it was also enlarging the size of the global banking unit, by merging its capital financing unit into it and moving a number of clients from its commercial banking (CMB) unit to the business.

Samir Assaf, head of global banking & markets (GBM), said in the memo that the aim was to create a more cost-efficient structure. "You have heard me speak about intensifying our focus on managing costs," Assaf said in the memo.

"By bringing capital financing, banking and the former CMB clients together, we will be able to reduce our spend by identifying cost savings and creating further synergies." He said changes across the investment banking industry had left GBM, which reported a rise in full-year profits and income on Monday, with an opportunity "to gain significant market share".

Assaf said another objective of the changes was to bring its primary products "under the same roof as relationship managers"to be more agile.

As a result of the changes, Spencer Lake, head of capital financing, will become vice-chairman of GBM, where he will focus on strategic initiatives, such as leading work on the internationalisation of China's renminbi, infrastructure and sustainable financing.

HSBC confirmed the contents of the memo and Assaf said he was delighted Westerman was joining. "It reflects the confidence people have in GBM's strategy and potential," he said in a statement to IFR.

Westerman was previously head of Goldman's investment banking division in Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) from 2012 to 2015 and before that was global head of equity capital markets, based in London. He was named a partner in 2002.

Goldman said in its memo Westerman was a trusted advisor to many clients and led many franchise-defining transactions. It said he was also an important advisor and mentor to many people at the company.


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